Time Warp Toy Box: Week 2
Welcome back to our second installment of Time Warp Toy Box for Christmas 2007. Here are a few more presents from under the Retrorama Christmas tree.
The Mobile Action Command rescue squad was a mid-1970’s toy line from Matchbox (Lesney in Europe) that preceded the small action figure boom created by Star Wars by several years. MAC figures had limited articulation and even more limited detailing but they still had a lot of play value. The rescue vehicles, including a helicopter, fire truck, snow plow and army jeep were the cornerstones of the line but the secret mountain headquarters, which came complete with figures and vehicles, is the item most people remember best.
No Saturday morning in the early 1970’s was complete in my neighborhood without the screeching sounds of Kenner’s SSP Racers as they bounced down the street. These cleverly designed cars were powered by a kid pulled zip stick that revved the gyro wheel in their chassis to incredible speeds! There were a huge number of different cars in this series but the Laker Special (the blue car in the Speedway above) and the Black Widow were the most popular in my area. This was a fairly long lived line of toys and gave way to many interesting variations like the Smash Up Derby!
Holy revival, Batman! In the mid ’70s, Batman enjoyed a merchandising revival thanks to the ’60s television show being popular in syndication and a Filmation cartoon on Saturday mornings. The range of products available went far beyond the traditional action figures. Lucky kids could outfit their entire room with everything styled after the Caped Crusader including a lamp (I still have mine), desk set, and even a talking alarm clock that demanded lazy children wake and fight crime! My personal favorite is the Jeering Joker target game. Forget the fact that Batman’s whole persona was built around not using firearms; if the Joker came after any 70’s kid with a knife, he was eating lead!
Even though I hated The Waltons television show as a kid (Kung Fu was on at the same time), these action figures from Mego hold a lot of great memories. Sears department store never had a standing toy section but every year at Christmas they revamped an area (usually the Garden Center) into “The Big Toy Box”. This section was always filled with lots of cool displays and in 1974 one of those was a miniature Walton’s Mountain complete with the house, truck and figures seen in this advertisement. A friend of mine from school was absolutely obsessed with this display and begged his parents to buy the whole set for him for Christmas. It was his dream to have Grandpa drive the truck home drunk one night, crash into the house, and burn the whole place to the ground before anyone could get out! Unfortunately his parents must have caught on because he never got these but I would have been first in line to watch the Walton fire drill if he had!